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in a sit down interview with oprah winfrey, the world's most famous cyclist talked about the allegations that have been plaguing him for years. this after the justice department decided to intervene in a whistle-blower lawsuit brought on by a former teammate. nbc's kurt gregory has more. >> give out the details. >> a one word answer. >> did you ever take banned substances to enhance your performances? >> yes. >> reporter: after years of denials, stein file tour de france winner lance armstrong admitted to oprah winfrey he did use performance-enhancing drugs. >> in all seven of your tour de france victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope? >> yes. >> reporter: it's an admission armstrong had spent more than a decade denying. >> i've used this situation as one big lie that i repeated a lot of times. >> reporter: those who have followed armstrong say tonight's admission is self-serving. >> i believe that he is completely insincere except for
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this, he is starting to repair his own brand. >> reporter: a brand that was loss millions in endorsements after armstrong was stripped of his seven tour de france titles. on thursday, the international olympic committee stripped armstrong of the bronze medal he won during the 2000 sidney olympics. >> i'll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people. >> reporter: accolades gone for a sports icon now coming clean. kurt gregory, nbc news. >> and a quick programming note, this morning on the "today" show, exclusive interviews with tyler hamilton one of the armstrong's teammates. and livestrong ceo doug ulman. the speculation continues to swirl around notre dame as linebacker manti te'o and the mystery over a girlfriend he publicly mourned and now says never existed. in the wake of that revelation in claims he was a victim of the
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elaborate hoax news organizations are sifting news reports raising more questions. an associated press review finds the heisman trophy candidate perpetuated the relationship. te'o said he learned of the hoax on december 6th which leaves us to learn when will we hear from te'o himself. now, the latest on the ongoing hostage crisis in algeria. new details are emerging about the algerian government raid to rescue foreign nationals held captive at a bp-related gas plant. some americans escaped but others are still being held. duncan, what's the latest? >> reporter: good morning. the latest has come from the british prime minister who has been speaking to his algerian counter part and he said they are still pursuing terrorists and possibly some of the
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hostages in other areas of the site. what's unclear is how many hostages escaped yesterday during that raid by algerian security forces. it's thought at least four people were killed, two british, two filipinos. the numbers keep changing. one news agency is quoting the militants saying 35 of the hostages were killed. the fact that these numbers keep on varying show us just how hard it is to get information out of the saharan desert. a lot of uncertainty for families wait ago round the world. >> thank you. for the first time in over two decades, the u.s. has recognized the government of somalia. secretary of state hillary clinton calls the official recognition a milestone in somalia's fight against islamic extremists. somali's president was in washington. the u.s. has not recognized somalia since 1991 when warlords overthrew the government and a
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civil war followed. first lady michelle obama was in fine form celebrating her 49th birthday. the white house said the president and mrs. obama dined with friends last night at an italian restaurant at washington's upscale georgetown neighborhood. earlier in the day, the first lady debuted her hairdo featuring new bangs in a twitter pic she featured online. we'll see if the new do is there for inauguration day. very cute. >> in fact preparations for the parties and the president's big day is well under way. nbc's tracie potts has details. hi. >> reporter: hi, good morning. it's a lot of work. i want to show you some animation that gives you a virtual look at what people will see and what you're seeing if you're not here televised on monday when president obama for the second time this year takes the oath of office. remember he does the first official and private one at the white house on sunday, then the
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big event here on monday. all of this being built up at the capitol, the president will give his speech there which analysts say should not be partisan, he should stick to the middle of the road. . from the capitol to the parade route the process of securing all that, they got 100 workstations set up so far. 42 different agencies working on this. so here's the schedule for the weekend. national dave service on saturday. see the president and vice president and wives out doing that. private swear in on sunday and big day on monday. >> all right. tracie potts, thanks so much. and now for a look at your friday weather, here's nbc meteorologist bill karins. good morning. >> the weekend looks pretty nystatin west. if you can avoid the freezing fog like yesterday you're in for a nice treat. plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. here's a big picture across the country. the mild january weather is pretty much confined today from areas like denver down into
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texas and some portions of the deep south. all the cold, cold air is bottled up into canada, barely clipping the great lakes and northeast. we'll go through a little bit of a pattern change. it won't get worse for the west. it should get a little bit warmer as the jet stream goes well to the north over the tail end of the weekend into next week and the eastern half of the country will have this big cold outbreak, the coldest air of the season. some of the coldest ire in the northern hem steer is coming down from canada and dipping down to the great lakes. we still have high pressure. these cold clear snow packs. chilly morning in boise northern portions of nevada, vegas is chilly at 37. this high pressure system hasn't allowed the air to change. we have the air stagnation warnings in many areas from washington state down the oregon. besides the poor air quality you should see a decent amount of sunshine nearly 80 degrees in
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l.a., phoenix at 74. beautiful through much of the southwest. thatbe careful of freezing fog possible before 9:00 a.m. in the west. >> as far as rain chances go, none coming for a while. >> aren't they lucky. thanks so much. >> the new evident nbc polls on guns in america and we'll show you a 12 pound gold nugget that was found on a beach. plus take a look at this frightening video. a purse thief takes her purse and hurls her on to the tracks. what happened next? we'll tell you.
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welcome back, here's some other stories making news this morning. the latest nbc/"wall street journal" poll found that 56% of americans want stricter gun laws.
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that's less than the 60% to 70% who supported stricter gun laws during the '90s when congress passed the assault weapons ban. the new poll found that 7% think the gun laws are too strict and 35% want no changes. new jersey governor chris christie said the new nra ad using president obama's daughters to make a point about armed guards at schools is reprehensible. >> authors in southern australia say a fast-moving brush fire has doubled in size to about 111,000 acres fueled binary record high temperatures. at least one man has been killed, hundreds evacuated and five properties destroyed. well, the mother offering popular advice known as dear abby has died. pauline phillips who wrote under the name of abigail van buren in her long-running dear abby column was 94. check this out, researchers have created a new gadget that can snap photographs of snowflakes in 3-d. the device uses three high-speed
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cameras to capture the amazing photos while the snowflakes are in free fall. very cool. >> now to health news. new numbers from the american cancer society shows a dramatic drop in cancer death rates down 20% from the peak in 1991. experts credit people smoking less and early detection especially for breast and colon cancer. but numbers aren't all good. the death rate for melanoma caused by sun exposure is rising and there's concern about obesity. >> announcer: "early today" health is brought to you by vagisil phd balanced wash. >> turning now to biz. will a rebound in the world's second largest economy be good news on world series? china's growth products sped up by a faster than expected 7.9% in the fourth quarter. we'll see how investors react and how long it will last. stocks came to live thursday thanks to a jump in housing starts and the lowest weekly
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jobless claim numbers since january 2008. after the bell, chip make intel ticked lower. more corporate reports ahead today, including general electric and morgan stanley. gold prices settled around $1690. meaning this 177 ounce gold nugget reportedly discovered with a medal detecter in australia is worth just under $300,000. pretty good find. toyota has settled the first in a string of wrongful and injury deaths overunintended acceleration. the family of a utah couple killed when a toyota slammed into the wall will collect an undisclosed sum from the automaker. oprah winfrey's interview with lance armstrong has brought a pretty penny for her cable network. ad slots sold at a premium was expeced to sell out. oprah bolstered the ratings by 32% last year.
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well, so much for dishes and towels. chrysler wants new couples to ask their friends and families to pitch in for a new car on its new dodge dart registry site. meanwhile, if you're planning a vacation or honeymoon, experts say january is the best month to find travel deals. but you probably won't find any bargains here. the four seasons resort on the big island of hawaii, trip advisor named it the best resort in the world. the posh retreat in the u.s., followed by a sister resort in maui. and bardesso in napa valley, four seasons seattle and the ranch rounded out the top five. >> sports is straight ahead on "early today." plus stories from across america including a horrible crime in philly. >> when u.s. senators go hunting for burmese pythons, you're watching "early today."
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and now to some other stories that caught our eye this morning. we start in philadelphia where disturbing surveillance video captured a vicious attack on the subway platform earlier this week. it showed a man beating a woman and tossing her on to train tracks before stealing her jacket and cell phone. fortunately, the 23-year-old victim survived with some cuts and bruises. police caught the suspect because he was wearing the stolen jacket. he faces assault and robbery charges. in the everglades, florida senator bill nelson got down and
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dirty with the python hunt challenge. he was trying to draw attention to the problem of nonnative giant snakes which have been known to either deer and alligators. the senator's expedition turned up no pythons. and in the nation's capital people have been doing a double take as wax statues of president obama and first lady michelle rode through on a double decker bus. the statues had been updated by madame tussauds. just in time for the inauguration. mr. obama's statue has more gray hair while the first lady's hair and makeup and clothing are more in line with 2013. in sports, college basketball. third-ranked duke with georgia tech and mason plumlee had 16 points for the blue devils. in a 73-56 victory. michigan faced minnesota. glenn robinson iii made a steal an a spectacular 360-degree jam. very nice. michigan over minnesota 84-75. in the nba, milwaukee surged in the second half against phoenix. and the bucks beat the suns, 98-94, for the first win in phoenix in 26 years.
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the nfl playoffs on sunday, atlanta hosts san francisco in the nfc championship game and the ravens are in new england for the afc title game. the winners will meet for the super bowl xlvii in new orleans on february 3rd. and listen to this, organized crime infringing on the world's most popular sport? there are new reports out that 50 national soccer leagues are being targeted by criminal gangs trying to fix matches. fifa, the governing body of international football said in 2012 it was involved in dozens of investigations which reportedly accounts for billions in illegal betting. just ahead, robert redford's unchanged, and a big payday. plus back to the future now. check out this retro hovercraft. you're watching "early today."
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>> welcome back. good friday morning to you and what a nice weekend forecast we have for almost everyone. dry weather will prevail. spend a lot of time outdoors this weekend with these warm temperatures from southern california up into central california. not bad around portland either. very cold morning today and that will continue the trend. each morning i think we're getting warmer through the weekend. still dealing with freezing fog in the northwest. that's before 9:00 a.m. after that the sun should slowly break out. we're talking temperatures that are similar each and every day. what you have today you'll likely deal with all weekend
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long. that's usually good. well, arnold said he would be back. "the last stand" marks arnold schwarzenegger's first leading role since 2003. that may not be enough for the box office win with jessica chastain's new horror film "mama" expected to take five. mark wahlberg broken's city is expected last. quentin tarantino's "django" unchained has officially become his top grossing best film. founder robert redford reiterated the festival's independent spirit. >> as long as we go forward and we adapt to change, we keep in touch with our original purpose which is simply to support and develop new voices to be seen and heard. and do whatever we can to promote them. sometimes, you never know what you'll see in the san francisco bay. including a delorean-themed hovercraft, straight out of
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"back to the future." wherever they're going, they definitely won't need roads. and finally, justin bieber's ex selena gomez revealed who she turns to for relationship advice. taylor swift. yes, that taylor swift. maybe she's become an expert. well she's an exert in heartache. >> she and the b broke up. >> you're way behind. >> i'm way behind. i'm mara schiavocampo and this is "early today," this, your first stop of the day today on your nbc station.
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in india, a brave rescue
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effort paid off for one lucky little calf. a baby elephant found stuck at the bottom of a well was unable to free himself. rescue officials rushed to help the not so tiny tot, digging a slanted path to solid ground. once free the little guy made a hasty retreat happy to be out of trouble and back to the wild. well, check out the unusual fashion designs in china before they melt. the chocolate fashion show kicked off in shanghai. showcasing designers love for the cocoa bean. each one pairing flowing fabrics and design. the pieces look great on stage but according to the models they smell even better. well, people in the netherlands shouldn't throw stones that's because one architect in a small dutch village has built a glass structure designed to be a traditional farmhouse. the building will house various shops and offices. many residents are skeptical of the new addition but the architect feels it will bring the community together. >> a glass house -- hmm.
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maybe not the best idea. >> a little hard to heat. >> and some safety things i would worry about. >> taking a shower would be difficult. well, some stories we'll follow throughout the day here on nbc. an illinois mystery. the body of a lottery winner who died from cyanide poisoning will be examined today. udooj khan died in july a day after collecting $425,000 in wins. also today, the centers for disease control will release the latest flu numbers. last week, 47 states had widespread flu activity. today's figures should show whether the flu season has peaked in some areas of the country. and on this day in 1954, the beatles made their debut on the billboard hot 100 list with their smash hit "i want to hold your hand." the song became the top slot and became the band's best-selling single worldwide . all day long you can stay on top of the very latest developments on those stories and the best political analysis on msnbc. and tonight be sure to watch "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. and, finally, here's a look at what's coming up later this morning on the "today" show. in two exclusive interviews matt
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sits down with lance armstrong former teammate tyler hamilton and livestrong ceo doug ulman. now keep it on this channel for continuing news, sports and more. i'm mara schiavocampo. thanks for watching "early today." this, your first stop of today on your nbc station. have a great one.
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>> they didn't know what to do. they were all scared. a neighborhood outraged after finding out an attempted child abduction was a hoax. now the child's mother could face charges. also the police chief of the bay area's biggest city stepping down. we'll tell you what's next for the department. overnight update on pablo sandavol. a nice way to start the day on this friday, january 18th. just about 4:31. good morning one and all. i'm jon kelley. >> i'm marla tellez. laura garcia-cannon is off today. let's start things off with meteorologist christina loren with a look at the forecast. >> a
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